SLAC Mentor Application

Applications for Fall, 2019 due December 3rd, 2018

The Science of Learning and Art of Communication (SLAC) training program, funded by a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) grant, aims to develop a transformative model for interdisciplinary graduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, training 50 students (including 25 Ph.D. fellows). SLAC PhD and MFA students and their mentors will develop new, team-based, interdisciplinary approaches to the science of learning. SLAC teams will also learn how communicate effectively with a wide range of audiences, from fellow specialists to scientists in other fields to the general public.

Students will complete a one-year graduate seminar on the science of learning and the challenge of communicating their research to diverse audiences, drawing on techniques from the performing arts and new approaches using digital media. In a hands-on practicum, they will learn to work in challenge teams to address fundamental and applied problems. In a professional development workshop, they will develop skills crucial to academic and nonacademic careers that are often absent in graduate education (e.g., project design and management, budgeting and resource allocation, and external communications). Finally, in an outreach seminar, they will learn to present science accessibly to a variety of audiences.

The SLAC NRT extends the interdisciplinary community and work we began with the Neurobiology of Language (NBL) training program, originally funded by an NSF IGERT grant. SLAC does not supplant or compete with NBL/IGERT, but offers new, complementary opportunities. Indeed, students can participate in both programs.

Benefits for advisors include:

  • Possible fellowships for graduate advisees
  • Novel training opportunity for graduate advisees
  • Opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary research
  • Opportunities to acquire skills in science communication
  • Access, through students, to “innovation incentive funds” for pilot projects